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Nonverbal Communication

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warmhrt
Senior Member
since 12-18-1999
Posts 1566


0 posted 04-01-2000 12:56 AM       View Profile for warmhrt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for warmhrt

On these forums, we are accustomed to using words to convey images, thoughts, emotions, etc. In the real world (as opposed to the virtual world), and in the dynamics of human communication, how important is nonverbal communication in our everyday, interpersonal interactions with others? Why?


 the poet's pen...gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name ~ Shakespeare




[This message has been edited by warmhrt (edited 04-01-2000).]
Tony Di Bart
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since 01-26-2000
Posts 163
Toronto, Canada


1 posted 04-03-2000 10:29 PM       View Profile for Tony Di Bart   Email Tony Di Bart   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tony Di Bart

I think that non-verbal communication palys a big part in everyday life.  Non verbal communication tells us when to approcah a stranger and say hi, it tells us when to leave.  It can tell you if someone is upset or not upset.  I am in sales and non-verbal communication is how I know whether i have the sale or not, long before they say yes. Non-verbal communication usually works on a very sub-conscious level, almost and instinctual thing if you like.  A smile is non verbal.  Infact non verbal sometimes tells you more about the situation than the verbal.  I am sure you have asked soem one if they are ok and they say yes but they do not smile.

THat's it that's all  

See ya

warmhrt
Senior Member
since 12-18-1999
Posts 1566


2 posted 04-04-2000 12:20 AM       View Profile for warmhrt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for warmhrt

I agree, Tony. Nonverbal communication plays a huge part in our lives, even more than verbal. A hug, a handshake, gestures, body positioning, facial expressions, silences, gaze behaviors, even what we wear communicates something to others, and can be a way to express ourselves. The mother's loving touch to her baby demonstrates just how powerful that communication can be. Infants who are not held at all can actually get sick and even die because of the lack of stimulation (a nonverbal communication).

We must, however think about the reliability factor with this type of communication. Would you rely on it?

Kris

 the poet's pen...gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name ~ Shakespeare
jbouder
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since 09-18-99
Posts 2641
Whole Sort Of Genl Mish Mash


3 posted 04-04-2000 08:42 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Kris:

I know you were interested in seeing what I have to say about this considering my particular situation.

My oldest son (4-1/2 yrs.) is autistic and currently uses only four words with any consistancy.  He is currently learning a form of communication known as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) by which he forms sentences on a velcro strip using small pictures.  He is current making a few two word sentences using the picture for "I want ..." and a picture for whatever he wants (bubbles, chips, french fries, etc.).  Eventually he will learn to read, possibly before he learns to talk.

All of his practical communication is non-verbal.  While this causes me and my wife some small degree of frustration, he is able to communicate with us using the PECS or gestures or facial expressions.  

My point is that I can know much of what my son needs, wants, feels and (to some limited extent) is thinking without his ever saying a word.  To answer Kris's question:

quote:
We must, however think about the reliability factor with this type of communication. Would you rely on it?


I think that it is possible, but extremely difficult, to rely on non-verbal communication.  A deaf person who communicates chiefly by signing must rely on the knowledge of signing of another in order to communicate effectively in this way.  Lip-reading and learning to speak without hearing are additional, specialized skills that are necessary for many of these to communicate normally.  My son must learn to communicate (and read) using pictures and velcroed sentence strips.  This is considerably more difficult (and slower) than the way most of us have learned to communicate but it is possible for him to go through life (although I hope this is not the case) without ever acquiring the skill of speech.

I may be back later as I think this thing through a little more.  Good question, Kris.

Jim

Tony Di Bart
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since 01-26-2000
Posts 163
Toronto, Canada


4 posted 04-04-2000 10:20 PM       View Profile for Tony Di Bart   Email Tony Di Bart   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Tony Di Bart

Reliability?

For soemthings realiability is great i.e a smile for others not.  Non verbal is also culturally biased more so than verbal.  

See YA
warmhrt
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since 12-18-1999
Posts 1566


5 posted 04-05-2000 03:16 PM       View Profile for warmhrt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for warmhrt

Jim,

I was not thinking of your situation at all when I posed this question. I was thinking more along the lines of a therapist evaluating someone for the first time. I did, however, think about it afterwards, and wondered if I should change it, but I figured you'd know how I meant it. OK?  

Kris
Carey Lenehan
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since 04-07-2000
Posts 1
UK


6 posted 04-07-2000 07:33 PM       View Profile for Carey Lenehan   Email Carey Lenehan   Edit/Delete Message     View IP for Carey Lenehan

Animals communicate very well non verbally. feelings, fears, alarm, warnings, affection. Your dog might not be able to paint the Mona Lisa, but it can tell you how it feels. Horses are incredibly communicative and seldom make a sound when expressing the most complex of feelings. Verbal communication is only used in very specific circumstances, to convey a warning, or fear or to reach other animals not in sight.
Body language is usually more reliable than words. Words can lie, but body language seldom does. The art is in  the interpretation.
warmhrt
Senior Member
since 12-18-1999
Posts 1566


7 posted 04-08-2000 12:54 AM       View Profile for warmhrt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for warmhrt

Carey,

Well, a brand new member of Passions ...
welcome!

I totally agree with you about the animals, but humans are accustomed to using their voices to express themselves, with nonverbal communication often subconscious. As an observer of that nonverbal language, do you think your interpretation would be very different from anothers? As an example, when I am tired, and sitting, I bounce my leg using the ball of my foot. I've done this since I was a child (I think I'm trying to keep myself awake). If others who did not know me, and saw me exhibiting this behavior, they would probably think I was anxious. So, can we only trust universally understood nonverbal actions, such as a nod, a hug, shaking the head side-to-side for "no", smiles, frowns, etc.?

 the poet's pen...gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name ~ Shakespeare
Poertree
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since 11-05-1999
Posts 1413
UK


8 posted 04-08-2000 05:01 PM       View Profile for Poertree   Email Poertree   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poertree

Kris .. (~smile~ don't keel over in shock at seeing me ...lol)

.. as i was saying ... as to "reliability" I think you put your finger on the important point in your last post.  I suspect that reliability increases more or less in proportion to an increase in familiarity.

Manipulation and misinterpretation are all too easy unless a person has, shall we say, a comprehensive "database" of historical behaviour for another person going back, i would suggest, over years rather than months.

My wife, for instance, has the irritating ability to be able to accurately interpret my behaviour and expressions in practically any situation even when i do my best to conceal or deliberately mislead ... nobody else stands a chance ......lol ... its taken her 23 years however.

Philip
warmhrt
Senior Member
since 12-18-1999
Posts 1566


9 posted 04-08-2000 11:14 PM       View Profile for warmhrt   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for warmhrt

*she stares at this guy who says he knows her, and wonders who he is, and he's got some kind of goop dripping from his hair*

Hello,

Yes, I would say that knowing someone well does help in the interpretation of their nonverbal language. I'm not sure what you mean about "manipulation" (of nonverbal communication?) being all too easy unless someone knows you well. Am I to understand that you practice manipulation of this aspect of yourself? What if you had to see a therapist, and be evaluated. What do you think are the chances that the evaluation is even close to accurate, and by what percentage?

Poertree
Senior Member
since 11-05-1999
Posts 1413
UK


10 posted 04-09-2000 05:51 AM       View Profile for Poertree   Email Poertree   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poertree

Kris

The goop stuff got combed out by some pretty girl    .....

To answer your questions seriatim:

Yes I do (or used to) mostly in business negotiations with a "certain type" of opposition ...

If i was trying hard and it was my first time with the therapist then ..zero...

0%

PS I'm also conceited. Seriously though i don't think a therapist would get very close on a first sitting ... but then i could be wrong ..  

P
Tara Simms
Senior Member
since 08-12-99
Posts 1285
Honea Path, SC USA


11 posted 04-23-2000 02:53 AM       View Profile for Tara Simms   Email Tara Simms   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Tara Simms's Home Page   View IP for Tara Simms

An old conversation, but I thought I'd revive it.

I trust nonverbal cues much more than what the person is actually saying. As someone else had pointed out, people are rather adept at deceiving with their words.  Rarely do our actions not represent our true intent.
7
Member
since 04-26-2000
Posts 118
Amherst, MA, USA


12 posted 04-26-2000 08:45 PM       View Profile for 7   Email 7   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for 7

"Rarely do our actions not represent our true intent."

Unless, of course, you're my drama teacher. He's like a human behavior expert... you seriously can never tell what he's thinking, but he can ALWAYS tell what you're thinking. You can see him walking around the school watching how people move and their body language. Sometimes he seems like a psychic. It's intriguing but downright creepy as well.

7
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